The event held by the MORBC club in Perth, would go down as one of the better worlds I have been to. Of course there have been many good ones, but I have to say, these guys did a really great job. They had a really great group of guys running the broadcast, scoring, concession stand, and the track crew also did a fantastic job.
We had basically 6-10 practices on the track before actually started qualifying, so that was nice, considering I have never been to this track previously. I started with my standard setup, and began trying to tweak it to see if we could improve for this large, high speed, technical track. The track started off a little soft, but quickly took shape, as the surface would end up very hard and abrasive on the cars chassis. The watering schedule would also make it quite challenging as , if you had a track in the morning, with water, you would be a little slower, as well as a watered track in the evening you would also again be slower. Getting drier track conditions, simply put were faster. With 4 out of 6 rounds counting and the water schedule working for or against you, you really had to assume all 6 counted. This is simply because you might need to lean on a result from a watered round.
Early on we ran very soft tires, m3/x3, but to be fair, that really did not last long. As soon as we made it to the s3/s2, we would pretty much stay there for the duration of the event. Most guys honestly preferred Buckshots, as they were the fastest tires, in most conditions. The next best tires were the fugitive, or even some liked slide locks. To be totally fair, if you had any of those 3 tires, you were probably going to do just fine.
With the tires selection being pretty easy at this point, we could focus on the handling of the car and try to get a feel for if we could improve it. As the grip came up, I switched from 7/10/5 , over to 10/12/7. This seemed to be OK, for what would become the high grip track. The feeling was perhaps a slight bit less lean on the car. This made driving at high speed a little easier. As for the shocks, i really could not do much with, although i would have liked to make heavier for the higher grip and speed, it was simply not possible due to the bumpy uneven track conditions. I tried heavier anti roll bars, but again i feel the bumps were playing to big of a roll and bigger bars really did not help me there. I did find that laying down the front shocks helped a little bit in the bumps, but was at a small cost of speed. In the end, i really did not many things that really improved the setup, in the practice/test runs i had available. I used very similar setup as to what I run back home. In all fairness, the traction condition and also the obstacles were very similar to what i run on here in Florida. The only main difference being the size of the track.
In the end, i had some really great results in qualifying and was able to find my way into the top 20 many runs, which i was very happy with. I could have had a couple top 10 runs, but a bobble would cost me. In the end, i qualified into the 1/4 final, which was pretty good, considering this could be the most competitive time in 1.8th nitro buggy racing.
That final started off well for me, i stayed out of trouble and after 30 minutes worked my way into the lead. This would be the best finish on the day for me, as nothing seemingly went wrong. I drove well, the car worked well, and the tires were great.
I transferred into the 1/2 final(semi), I believe i started 9th and was looking to go the whole way. That optimism was short as i dodged one pile up, only to get rammed into from behind, in another corner, crashed out and then jumped on by another car. Needless to say, before the opening lap of the Semi final was complete i was already 12th and half a track off the lead cars. This race had basically turned into a practice run.
The LCQ, was up next as my final chance into the Main event. It was a 15 minute sprint race and the single winner would transfer into the final as car 13..Practice the car felt good, we lined them up on the grid, took on fuel... down and quiet... and flamed.. The idle was slightly too low, to sit on the starting line for 5 seconds. Needless to say, by the time i was restarted again, i was half a track down in an even shorter race. More practice before i went home..:).
The race for me was over at this time, but I achieved far more than i think anyone expected. I drove well, the car worked well and all my sponsors equipment also worked well. I was happy with my package, but luck was simply not there.
In conclusion, i watched the final from a marshaling position and to be fair it was very, very close between the top 3 guys. They fought hard, and Davide, ended up on top. It could have gone anyway between those 3 guys, however, as i stated on a JC race report earlier in the week, it would come down to mistakes. In this case, Davide made the least. Congrats to all the drivers in the Main event. You all deserved your positions and should be proud of the results.
Until the next one....:)
Thanks to all my sponsors:
VS Racing Engines
A main hobbies
Nitro pro fuel
PT Racing oils
I also want to thank Tim Tunnermann over at Oakley for the new Frames and lenses..